Apple chief executive Tim Cook claimed this week that the Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world.
Mr Cook did not provide any source information for the claim.
Apple’s UK press office has not yet replied to questions posed by WatchPro.
Apple does not provide detailed sales figures for its smartwatches, but Apple Watch sales are included within a group labelled ‘other products’ in the company’s quarterly report.
These include Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, iPod and Apple-branded and third-party accessories and delivered sales of $2.7 billion, a rise of 23% over the same quarter a year ago, the company states.
One analyst, Ben Bajarin, has estimated that Apple Watch sales may be around 2-3 million units for the quarter with sales of between $800m and $1.2 billion.
Rolex is owned by the private Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, which is famously secretive about all financial information.
Business news magazine Forbes used a widely quoted turnover figure for Rolex of $4.5 billion in an article last year.
“It is difficult to conclude whether the claim from Tim Cook is true or not,” says WatchPro editor Rob Corder. “I would assume he used an estimate of around $1.2 billion per quarter in sales for Rolex and is saying that Apple Watch beat that number.”
The claim was made during the launch of Apple Watch Series 3, which will have built in connectivity to the mobile phone network, without needing to be tethered to an iPhone.
Whether users are out for a run, at the pool or just trying to be more active throughout their day, Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity allows them to stay connected, make calls, receive texts and more, even without iPhone nearby.
“We believe the addition of cellular connectivity will transform the way people use Apple Watch, providing a new sense of freedom since they can stay connected with or without their iPhone,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Series 3 combined with the power of watchOS 4 is the ultimate device for a healthy life.”
Apple Watch is available in two different case sizes, 38mm and 42mm. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will be available in gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel paired with a variety of bands starting at £399.
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) will be available in gold, silver or space grey aluminium cases with a Sport Band starting at £329.
Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) beginning Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22 in the UK.